Alfie's magnificent seven

CHRIS STEVENSON -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 10:37 AM ET

TAMPA -- Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson will be busy this weekend, but he made sure his vacationing teammates can enjoy the all-star break.

Alfredsson validated (again) his selection as a starter in the showcase game in Atlanta with a dazzling seven-point night -- his sixth career hat trick and four assists, breaking his team record -- as the Senators snapped a three-game losing streak with a 8-4 domination of the Tampa Bay Lightning at the St. Pete Times Forum.

"It was a fun night," said Alfredsson. "Our line played well, we moved the puck, created chances and had them running around a bit.

"The way I look at it, you add them up at the end of your career ... maybe it will be 'you remember that night in Tampa?' When they come, you take them. It doesn't happen that often."

Alfredsson's sparkling night gave him 32 goals and 35 assists for 67 points to take over the league scoring lead from Tampa's Vincent Lecavalier. He was credited with his fourth assist on a scoring change after the game.

The two will start the all-star game on the same line in Atlanta Sunday.

Alfredsson assisted on two goals by Jason Spezza (his 17th and 18th) and singles by Antoine Vermette (11th) and Randy Robitaille (eighth).

Coach John Paddock said last night's performance is more evidence Alfredsson is a leading candidate for the Hart Trophy.

"Are the rest of you going to get on the campaign trail? I certainly have a lot of respect for Lecavalier and Sidney Crosby...but (Alfredsson) has been as good as any player in the league from the playoffs last year until now. I don't think anybody can argue that."

Tampa defenceman Dan Boyle, a surprise starter after missing all but four games this year in a freak skate accident which resulted in severed tendons in his arm, went coast-to-coast to break Martin Gerber's shutout bid with his first of two.

The day started for the Senators with an address from GM Bryan Murray.

It's a bit unusual for the GM to address the troops, but Murray -- who was called to a breakfast meeting with unhappy owner Eugene Melnyk -- wanted to make sure the players knew what was expected of them.

Murray encouraged them to take it easy during the break and reminded them of the commitment to defence and "playing the right way."

The Senators certainly played the "right way" last night, thanks in large part to Alfredsson, playing his second game since missing a pair because of a sore hip flexor.

DODGED HUGE HIT

He beat Johan Holmqvist to the short side at 13:43 of the first, wired one home on the power play at 18:41 and scored a shortie at 4:38 of the second for his three goals.

Alfredsson was lucky in the second period when Tampa forward Andre Roy took a big run at him. Alfredsson missed the brunt of the check and had Roy's skate bounce off his helmet as he lay on the ice.

Things got wild in the third as the teams combined for four goals.

Randy Robitaille picked up his eighth on a fluke bounce off his stick on an Alfredsson pass. Dean McAmmond also scored for Ottawa while Nick Tarnasky and Craig MacDonald scored for Tampa.

Patrick Eaves, back after missing 24 games with a shoulder injury, left the game and did not return after appearing to reinjure himself.


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